Smart Villages support in Finland

How is the concept of Smart Villages defined?

There is no formal definition of ‘Smart Villages’ in Finland. It may include a village, group of villages, a municipality or a territorial entity for smart development.

Is digital a key feature of Smart Villages?

The aim is to be able to respond in a fast and flexible manner to the needs expressed by local communities in social, environmental and economic development. Digitalisation is a crosscutting feature of Smart Villages.

Is social innovation a key feature of Smart Villages?

Social innovation is mentioned in the 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan as an important feature of Smart Villages (along with economic and climate-related innovations) of which issues such as culture, well-being, capacities and security are highlighted.

How is the CAP supporting Smart Villages?

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland


CAP SP 2023-2027 Factsheet

CAP 2014-2022

Yes, specific Smart Villages interventions

  • Specific intervention

Under the measure ‘Basic services and village renewal’, many village development projects were financed. This measure covered all kinds of village development and investment projects. They could include village strategies, capacity building, culture, animation, climate action, local economy, cooperation and investments for village house renovations/ activities. Broadband projects could be financed both by LEADER groups or Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.


Villages have been part of Finnish Local Action Group (LAG) strategies since the beginning of the LEADER programme and have also been supported by the NRN Support Unit, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the relevant Ministry.

  • Other indirect support

Villages could also indirectly get support from other measures like innovation and information activities.

CAP 2023-2027

Yes, specific Smart Village interventions planned:

The 2023-2027 CAP Strategic Plan has a dedicated chapter on Smart Villages.

  • LEADER/CLLD & cooperation

Smart Villages could be financed under cooperation measures, which implies the participation of at least two different stakeholders in Smart Village projects.

Activities can be implemented through LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGs) or the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The Smart Village approaches, financing levels and territorial width may vary from LAG or Centre to another.

The concepts of smart specialisation and smart adaptation are connected to the Finnish Smart Village concept.

  • Innovation including digitalisation

Digitalisation and innovation are crosscutting features in the CAP Strategic Plan.

Maaseutuverkosto – Finnish National Rural Network – Support Unit


Salla Pätilä, Network expert


CAP Network support

Smart Villages support provided by the NRN/ CAP Network:

The National Rural Network Support Unit organises Smart Village networking and activities.

Smart Villages Thematic Group: ran by the NRN Support Unit. It organised events (including regional discussion events) and competitions, collected and disseminated good examples, maintained the smart rural website, and set up a Smart Villages Facebook group. The Finnish Village Movement Association will continue to develop the work of the Thematic Group in the form of a ‘Smart Villages Taskforce’. The Taskforce includes the NRN Support Unit, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Union of Finnish municipalities.

How are other policies supporting Smart Villages?

Only to some extent/ indirectly

Smart Rural 27 – Smart Villages Taskforce

A National Smart Villages Taskforces have been set up in Finland

To read more about the taskforce, click here

Smart Villages in Finland

Want to get involved or know more on what Smart Rural 27 is doing in Finland? Contact us!

Last update: May 8, 2023